By | Sondos Samir
Sudan independent film festival is an annual celebration that held since 2013, starting on the 21st to the 27th of January. It’s a week to celebrate the cinema to be a genuine launch of the Sudanese cinema and a platform for strengthened ties with the other nations through the seventh art “Cinema” and arts alike.
The festival contained Proposals films from around the world, and accompanying events included workshops, meetings and seminars about film making, production and the history of cinema, in the presence of directors, actors and guests from around the world.
Organizes the festival Sudan Film Factory (SFF), chaired by Mr. Talal Afifi, aims to enhance the cinema culture among the countries and link Sudan with its vital surroundings in Africa through extremely and solid vision, artistic, educational and cultural initiatives. In support from the Ministry of Culture and cooperation with a number of several private sector institutions such as: DAL Motors, JAFAR Group, and cultural institutions like: Goethe Institute, British council, Omdurman cultural Center, DAL cultural forum, Da Vinci library and also in a cooperation with the Italian embassy, Khartoum University and others, whether material or moral support.
In this year for the first time there was something new; there was “Sharif Hussein” award “The Black Elephant” for the best film. It’s a reward inside Sudan and wish to be later an international award.
Nomination for the prize is based on the decision of the jury, which included: Suleiman Mohamed Ibrahim (Sudanese director), Sarah Jadallah (producer and Sudanese director), Mohamed Hanafi (Sudanese director), Swiss director, and Dr. Aml El-Jamal (Egyptian Film critic). The candidate films have been selected by the film selection team which consisted of: Ahmed Abdelmohsen (Egyptian director), Dr. Khaled Ali (Sudanese film critic) Amjad Abo Alala (Sudanese director and writer) Marwa Zain (Sudanese director), and Dr. Aml El-Jamal.
The elephant was chosen as a symbol for the reward because the elephant is one of the largest peaceful organisms on earth and it is a symbol of resistance of nature elements, drought, desertification, and also the resistance to enemies and extinction as well as the steadfastness. And the black color as a symbol of the continent of Africa and the Africans.
Choosing the places for the start and the end of the festival were to reverse a strong statement. For example the inauguration of the festival last year was at the Tabia in Omdurman, where it was earlier a place of war between the Sudanese and the British, but Sudan Film Factory made it a place full of peace to celebrate the art of cinema in the presence of the two parties and others.
The inauguration of the festival this year was in “Tutti Island”, which is also a symbol of resilience and survival. The conclusion of the festival was at “Comboni School” with its classic ancient style building which resembles the old churches, to reflect the spirit of unity in Sudan despite the different religions and cultures.
The films displayed during the festival at the British council, Goethe institute, Omdurman cultural center and the Italian embassy. The films that participated in the festival were from different countries of Switzerland, Italy, Egypt, Netherlands and UK.